This article helps your company explore new (business) opportunities that align with the company’s WHY. Based on just two questions, you’ll be able to come up with new ideas during a “conversation of possibilities.”
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Discovering the WHY for an organization or tribe is one first step.
A WHY consists of a contribution and its impact on the world. You can find examples of WHY statements of large companies here.
Both your personal WHY and a tribe’s WHY comes from the past. The potential or the value of your WHY lies in the future.
In previous articles, I wrote about how to bring your WHY to life and WHAT to do next after finding your WHY. This article is for organizations who want to take the next step after discovering their WHY. It will help to find (business) possibilities and make others enthusiastic for the company’s WHY.
A conversation of possibilities
In the book “Find Your WHY,” Simon Sinek suggests you have a “conversation of possibilities” session with your company’s employees. Those who have participated in a “Discover your WHY for tribes” session and other volunteers who would like to contribute to finding new ideas for the company.
The goal of a “conversation of possibilities” session is to develop new (business) ideas that are in line with the WHY of an organization.
It is comparable to a brainstorming session, but during the session, constraints are not allowed. “Yes, buts..”, “no-nos,” and other limitations are forbidden. These reactions keep you on the safe path. Change your thinking and explore the path of possibilities to scale the power of WHY.
The session takes about 45 minutes, and you do this session after a “Discover your WHY” session for tribes. You split the group into sub-groups of three to eight people. Again, during this discussion, no resource constraints are allowed. It is possible that a participant may at first have a ridiculous idea and that others transform it into an idea that can be executed. Nothing is weird, stupid, or outrageous.
Ozan Varol calls this “divergent thinking” in his book “Think like a Rocket Scientist.” He urges you to shut down the rational thinker and let your brain run wild. Think with a “could mindset.” Investigate the absurd. Look for possibilities you would normally find in a science fiction movie or book.
All ideas or possibilities are welcome on the table. However, since it is a conversation, participants should feel free to bring up anything without feeling committed to implementing the idea.
There are two rules for this conversation:
- Every idea must align with the WHY.
- Group members can add new ideas to build on the one from someone else. Participants are not allowed to say “No way,” “This is impossible,” “It will not work,” or “That can’t be done.” Instead, it is a conversation of possibilities.
First, the groups can answer the following question:
This is our WHY “To [contribution] so that [impact]. What could be possible inside our organization? (for example, What systems or processes can we think of or change?)
You are inviting people to look inward. This is important because you help people become aware of the tribe’s WHY and how this affects how you show what you say within the tribe. You have to be what you say before you can communicate this to the outside.
Next, repeat the WHY statement again and ask what other WHATs are possible? These can be new products, services, or how you want to present yourself to the outside world.
With this, you start looking for other possibilities than your core business This is usually very comfortable and safe. You inspire participants to look for different opportunities than those products and services you’ve always delivered; New opportunities that are in line with the tribe’s WHY.
All thoughts are written down on a flipchart and presented to the other groups. The chances are that others will come up with new ideas to build on an initial idea of a group.
Finally, the “conversation of possibilities” should be completed by asking a volunteer to champion a certain idea (or a set of ideas). They do not have to be responsible alone for the idea but can have other volunteers to help out. These WHY champions will keep the WHY alive every day by living and sharing it with others. They will take action on the ideas presented using the HOWs of a tribe.
The goal of this session is that all participants take ownership of the tribe’s WHY. This releases energy, joy, and inspiration. When you talk about stories and experiences, have ideas, and find new possibilities, you keep the WHY alive and start to scale up the power of WHY. Not only for your clients but also for your employees.
Do you want to discover the WHY for your tribe or have a conversation of possibilities to scale the power of WHY? Contact us! We can facilitate the different sessions for early adaptors of your tribe.
How do you find new business ideas for your company? What do you do to explore new opportunities? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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Simon Sinek, “Find your WHY” *
Ozan Varol, “Think like a Rocket Scientist” *
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